Twitter’s Mobile Apps Begin to Look a Bit More Like Instagram


Continuing its trudge toward becoming a more media-centric service, Twitter on Tuesday announced a new version of its iOS and Android mobile applications, giving more prominence to photos and video in the stream.

Instead of needing to click through to see an attached photo in your Twitter timeline, now users will see previews of pictures and videos captured with Vine within the stream as they thumb through it.

It’s a simple yet logical move for the microblogging service, which until now has primarily been relied upon for text-based updates in real-time. With the rise of Instagram over the past few years, users have flocked to more visual platforms, preferring to thumb through images and videos.

The move comes as Twitter aims to broaden its appeal to users, only weeks before the company makes its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange. While practically ingrained into the mainstream media consciousness, Twitter’s user growth rate has slowed year over year; the company is home to around 230 million monthly active users, far short of Facebook’s billion-plus member network.

Not to mention the obvious appeal to advertisers, which will receive more prominent billing in the Twitter feed when including pictures and Vine videos within their tweets. (Digiday’s take on this is good.)

Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram did not help matters for Twitter. The microblogging network was in fierce competition with Facebook to acquire Instagram just a few years ago, but lost out to a last-minute billion-dollar offer directly from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

As a result, Instagram later rescinded the ability to preview its photos from within the Twitter stream, requiring users to click an extra link in order to reach the Instagram shots. Not only was it annoying for users, it was a blow to Twitter, which lost a great deal of rich visual content.

Shortly after Twitter received the heads-up late last year that Instagram would cut off its integration, the company scrambled to figure out a solution to bringing filters into the Twitter app itself, according to sources familiar with the matter. To do that, Twitter contracted the services of Aviary, an outside company responsible for much of Twitter’s photo filter product.

Twitter certainly learned from the whole situation. What you won’t see are previews of photos uploaded from nonTwitter products; only photos uploaded via Twitter’s apps and services will show up in preview form. Same goes for Vine videos (but not for YouTube videos). No word on whether that will change in the future.

Expect the download to roll out for Android and iPhones on Tuesday.

Apple pulls Twitter’s Vine app from App Store ‘Editors’ Choice’ list over hardcore porn concerns

“The Twitter-owned short video sharing app Vine on Monday was stripped of its Editors’ Choice designation and was removed from the Featured section of the App Store after media caught wind of the service’s ability to weed out pornographic content,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Adding to Vine’s woes was a pornographic clip that was briefly promoted as an ‘Editor’s Pick’ shortly after its release last Thursday, leading some to question whether the new video sharing service has a ‘porn problem,’” Campbell reports. “As reported by CNET, Vine responded by taking down the video and issuing an apology, citing ‘human error’ as the cause of the mistake.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Our quick and dirty iPhone porn test video remains on Vine here (via Twitter).

Related article:
Twitter video app Vine makes porn ‘editor’s pick’; Will Apple pull and ban Vine from App Store? – January 28, 2013